Therelee Washington

Therelee Washington

A longtime educator and board trustee at Tyler ISD has passed way.

Therelee Washington, 86, died Monday. He served as an educator at the school for over 23 years and as a trustee for 19 years afterward.

“Our community has lost a leader and friend in Therelee Washington,” Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford said. “His heart for student success as an educator, board member, and community member impacted the lives of many, and he will be greatly missed.”

Washington first came to Tyler ISD in 1971 as a Douglas Elementary School math teacher. After six years of teaching, Washington then became a principal at Bonner Elementary School for six years and W.A. Peete Elementary School for 11 years, according to the Tyler ISD statement.

After his retirement, he went on to serve on the board of trustees until 2013. His wife, Jean, served in the seat through 2019.

“I had the pleasure of working with Therelee for many years as a school board member,” Tyler ISD Trustee Andy Bergfeld said. “He was a true servant to his community, but more than that, he was a genuine friend. His legacy will carry on in the many students and adults he had an influence on, including me. Our prayers are with Jean and the entire Washington family.”

While serving as a trustee, the Tyler ISD board was named the 2005 Region VII Board of the Year for several accomplishments, including passing a $96 million bond to improve and build new elementary campuses, increasing the district’s emphasis on fiscal responsibility and adding performance indicators to determine progress in testing scores, attendance and completion rates, according to the school district announcement.

“My heart is saddened today,” former Tyler ISD Trustee Rev. Orenthia Mason said. “It was my joy to sit beside Therelee at the Board of Trustees dais, and I am so happy he was able to see a dream of his come true in the Tyler ISD Career and Technology Center. Our Board of Trustees was a wonderful team, and Therelee kept us all laughing during challenging times and focused on academic excellence. His tenure speaks well for itself. Well done, my friend.”


I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.

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